The government of Maharashtra has shown interest in buying the iconic Air India building. Located in South Mumbai, the 23-storey high rise was once the airline’s corporate headquarters, until it shifted base to New Delhi in 2013.

The building now has several floors vacant. Last year, Air India floated tenders for sale of the leasehold rights of the land, and its building.

Out of the two bids received, one belonged to the state government, whereas the other was from Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).

Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, has set up a committee which consists of senior bureaucrats and is headed by the chief secretary, to negotiate the sale if the government wins the bid.

The purchase would seek to reduce the government’s cost substantially as there are numerous state government and Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) offices scattered across the cities, operating from rented premises. Shifting them all to the Air India building would be highly beneficial.

 Additionally, the proceeds from the sale of the building will also be used to pay off a portion of the airline’s debt.

Prealene Khera